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Water still OK but Rio threat remains

By LITO RULONA
Correspondent

BULK water supplier Rio Verde Water Consortium Inc. did not make good its threat to cut down the water pressure on All Saints’ Day but the Cagayan de Oro Water District is still worried about the prospects of another water crisis.

The Rio Verde threat remains, said COWD chairman Eduardo Montalvan said yesterday.

Since Nov. 1, the day Rio Verde said it would reduce the water pressure unless COWD agreed to pay based on its new price, “they’ve been delivering,” said Montalvan. “I just hope they will continue to do so.”

Montalvan told the Gold Star Daily that the COWD has been monitoring the water pressure every three hours since Wednesday.

He said the COWD has already written to Rio Verde, informing it that the water district cannot accede to the bulk water supplier’s demand of increased payment from P10.45 to over P16 per cubic meter.

Montalvan said Rio Verde wrote back, informing COWD that its decision to increase the water rate by over P6 per cubic meter effective Nov. 1 stays.

COWD assistant general manager Bienvenido Batar Jr. called on water consumers especially in the city’s western areas and in Opol town in Misamis Oriental to prepare, saying that another water crisis could still take place if Rio Verde cuts down the pressure.

Over local radio, Engr. Batar said COWD was feeling the pressure as a result of Rio Verde’s threatening notice.

“Sa pagka-tinuod bisan unsaon nabutang kami (COWD) sa lisod nga kahimtang,” he said.

Batar said COWD has started preparing for the worst case scenario, and the water district has been advised on what legal steps to take in the event that Rio Verde makes good its threat.

In case of another water crisis, COWD would facilitate the delivery of treated water to areas that would be badly affected by low water pressure, he said.

“Immediate remedial measures lang gyud among mahimo kay naa man pud ta’y other sources of water like Balulang to supply water to nearby and lower areas. Estimate is western half ang dali nga affected,” Batar said.

Batar reiterated that COWD cannot accede to Rio Verde’s demand because it would be disallowed by the Commission on Audit.

“Duna pa usab pending nga mga kaso niini. Dili kami makahatag og angayan una kami nga i-resolbar sa pinaka-dali nga panahon,” he said.

Batar added:“Base sa ilang sulat mao na kana ilang demand. Og possible water disruption in the coming days kung supakon gyud ni. Purchase of 40,000 cubic meter lang gihapon ang basehan sa ilang gipangayo nga rate.”

Councilor Teodulfo Lao Jr. earlier warned COWD against yielding to Rio Verde’s pressure, warning it of legal sanctions. He said Rio Verde was also courting a case in court.

Lao said the city council’s committee on public utilities has a copy of the Rio Verde notice to COWD.

“Nasubo kita sa taras sa Rio Verde. Paminawon ta kini ilang isulti sa committee meeting. Kung tinud-on kini nila, then legal move ang ilang atubangon. Dili lamang ang Rio Verde apan apil usab ang COWD. Access to water is a basic human right,” Lao said.

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